An energy-efficient home can lead to lower energy costs, a cleaner environment, and more comfort for you and your family. Thankfully, there are so many easy ways to reduce your home energy consumption, from small DIY changes to larger projects.
Your home’s energy efficiency depends on a variety of factors, including:
- Appliances and electronics
- Heating and cooling
- Air sealing and insulation
- Water heating
Whether you’re looking for budget-friendly upgrades or are ready to invest in eco-friendly appliances, get motivated with these top energy-efficient home ideas from Gexa Energy.
1. Conduct a home energy audit
The first step to effectively reducing your energy use is crunching the numbers. There are plenty of tools you can use to detect and track your energy usage, such as smart meters, plug-in energy monitors, and professional energy auditing services.
Data from an energy audit will help you understand where the bulk of your electricity costs are going, which will inform the specific energy-efficient home upgrades you make.
2. Adopt smart heating and cooling habits
The average U.S. household spends 53% of its energy expenses on cooling and heating, making this a prime area for conserving energy. Here are some of the easiest energy-conscious tips for heating and cooling your home:
- Get a yearly HVAC tune-up
- Limit your use of space heaters
- Install a smart thermostat that automatically makes energy-saving adjustments
- Use natural sunshine and shade to your advantage
Gexa Energy provides Smart Thermostats to Texas homeowners who sign up for our Energy Saver plans. Optimize your home’s energy with our electricity plans that help you save energy with a smart thermostat.
3. Seal and insulate
Gaps, cracks, and poor insulation can lead to spiking energy costs. If drafty winds are blowing through your windows, consider caulking the air leaks and applying weatherstripping around the frames. Make sure your roof and attic have proper insulation too.
4. Install energy-efficient bulbs
If you’re looking for cheap ways to make home more energy efficient, it’s time to replace any incandescent bulbs with light-emitting diodes, more commonly known as LEDs. LEDs emit the same level of brightness while using less energy, potentially leading to energy bills savings.
In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy is requiring lightbulb manufacturers to completely phase out incandescent bulbs by July 2023. It’s estimated that these DOE rules will save the average American household $100 per year.
5. Unplug unused devices
Modern households are full of energy-sucking electronics and appliances like televisions, computers, cable boxes, internet modems, video game systems, toasters, and coffee makers. When plugged in, these devices may still draw energy even if they’re not being actively used. In fact, about 25% of all home energy use is attributed to devices in “idle” or “standby” mode.
6. Wash and dry clothes efficiently
Heating water uses a significant amount of energy, so consider using cold water for your laundry instead. For drying, you can use a clothesline. If a clothesline isn’t practical, you can still save energy by using an automatic drying setting instead of a timed one. Additionally, make sure you regularly clean the dryer duct and lint screen.
7. Install energy-efficient showerheads
Showering uses a significant amount of water, especially if your showerhead has a high flow rate. Standard U.S. showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute (GPM). Showerheads with a WaterSense label are certified to use less than 2 GPM, while providing sufficient spray intensity and water coverage. Your water bill (and Mother Earth) will thank you for using a low-flow showerhead!
8. Replace windows
If weatherstripping and caulking don’t resolve your drafty windows, it might be time to replace your windows. As one of the most common energy-efficient home improvements, it’s important to get the right windows installed. Look for energy-efficient windows insulated with argon gas and low-emissivity coating.
Related: Learn About Wind Energy
9. Use ENERGY STAR® appliances
When it’s time for a new device or appliance, keep an eye out for products bearing the ENERGY STAR® logo---these products meet requirements put into place by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ENERGY STAR® appliances use anywhere from 10% to 50% less energy than standard appliances.
10. Install solar panels
Switching to solar power allows you to generate your own electricity and may even reduce your energy bills. Installing solar panels on your roof may qualify you for tax incentives, helping you to mitigate the upfront expenses. Learn how you can potentially save money with solar energy.
11. Use a tankless water heater
Most water heaters are constantly heating a big tank of water, but there’s a more efficient, tankless option. Tankless water heaters heat water as it flows, providing hot water on-demand without wasting electricity. While they aren’t cheap, they will likely lower your energy usage and save money in the long run.
12. Sign up for an energy-efficient house energy plan
Enjoy the benefits of renewable energy with Gexa. Our offerings include plans that include energy-optimizing features such as smart thermostats, lower rates during non-peak hours, and reduced rates on electric vehicle charging. All our residential plans are powered by 100% green energy* sources.
An energy-efficient home will save you money and increase your comfort. Follow these steps to achieve greater energy efficiency.